Ask Ethan: Is this actually a hole in the Universe?
“What do you do about people and entities who actively harm the amount of knowledge that the general populace has in the world? After all, the opposite of knowledge isn’t ignorance, but rather misinformation posing as knowledge.”
There are plenty of scientific myths that go around, including many that were generated recently by so-called science communicators that actively harm public knowledge. One of them was a now-famous image of a dark nebula silhouetted against a star field, claiming that this was a hole in the Universe a billion light years across with no matter in it. Not only is the image itself a completely different picture – that of a tiny molecular gas cloud just 500 light years away – but the study that led to the conclusion of a “hole in the Universe” has that as only one of many possible interpretations. Far more likely is that we’re simply looking at a large, underdense region that’s well within the range of what’s normal and expected for our Universe.